Sione Kalamafoni’s impact in his first season for Leicester Tigers is underlined by the official statistics for the regular Aviva Premiership season.
The OPTA Rugby Rankings show that Kalamafoni, the Players’ Player of the Year, made 324 carries, the most by any player in the league. Telusa Veainu was sixth highest in the league with 239.
Kalamafoni, who made 25 starts in all competitions this season for Tigers, the most in the squad, also topped the team’s tackle stats with 229 in the Aviva Premiership.
Graham Kitchener and Mike Fitzgerald were in the top 25 tacklers in the league with 205 and 196 respectively.
Veainu beat 89 defenders to top that Premiership Rugby statistic and made 1,520m, the third most in the league, while his 21 offloads was the sixth highest.
Kitchener won 97 lineouts, the third highest in the Aviva Premiership, while his four steals put him joint 14th.
Brendon O’Connor’s two turnovers against Sale Sharks in Round 22 took his tally to 18, the third highest across the season.
Jonny May, who supporters voted their Newcomer of the Season, finished his debut campaign as Tigers’ leading try scorer with 12 in all competitions. Jonah Holmes and Veainu were joint second with 10 tries.
George Ford finished the season as the second-highest points scorer in the Aviva Premiership with 166 points, 20 points behind England teammate Owen Farrell.
Ford scored a total of 222 points across all competitions to finish as Tigers’ leading point scorer ahead of May (60) and Joe Ford (56).
Joe Ford, Holmes, Kalamafoni and May were among 15 players to make their league debuts for Tigers this season, joining Chris Baumann, Joe Maksymiw, Nick Malouf, Valentino Mapapalangi, Jordan Olowofela, Gareth Owen, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Dom Ryan, Harry Simmons, Kyle Traynor and Dan Tuohy.
In total, 30 players made their debuts for the club in all competitions as Tigers gave Anglo-Welsh Cup experience to academy players and Loughborough students. It is the most debuts in a campaign since 41 made their first appearances after World War Two in 1945/46.
Tigers used 64 players across the whole campaign. This is the most since 84 were used in the 38 games of the 1935/36 season.
Statistics courtesy of Stuart Farmer/SFMS and OPTA.